Comic 164 - Aim for the cores

3rd Jul 2018, 5:36 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes) Rate this comic
Aim for the cores
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 3rd Jul 2018, 5:36 PM edit delete
Justice switches the attention of her water elemental, having it pursue the golem that Lagrand's fighting; meanwhile, Justice herself rushes forward to aid Valley. Valley, meanwhile, takes one handful of chain at a time... slowly pulling herself toward the golem she's been struggling with.

Lagrand resumes stretching brambles at his golem, trying to keep its arms busy breaking them all off as they approach. The holy water elemental gets in on it, firing short bursts of water, further distracting the rock pile; with both appendages quite busy shattering brambles and blocking incoming water jets, its core is exposed.

Lagrand, with his free hand, starts to motion. Wooden spears manifest in the air and launch themselves straight for the golem's core. Forced to make a split second decision, the golem goes to block the spears... and does so, but then exposes itself to a blast of water directly at its red center. The stone body stumbles back, uprooted from the ground... and with only a brief stream of high pressure holy water, the glow fades from the creature's heart, and the rocks all tumble to the ground completely inert.

Valley drags her way up to the other golem, delivering a huge boot. The rock pile throws its stubby arms up, blocking the shot but almost toppling over from the force. Justice sweeps in from the side, swinging her hammer; the golem defends its core with the rest of its body, hunching over, turning, but each impact from the hammer cracks and breaks more and more of its surface. Valley tugs on the anchor with one hand, throwing sloppy kicks with the other side of her body, keeping the golem off balance and unable to mount a proper counterattack.

Eventually, Justice gets a good swing in... and one swing is about all it takes. The hammer slams into the golem's core, the rest of its being coming undone in an instant.

All that remains are two smoldering piles of inanimate rock.

Valley wipes a thin sweat from her forehead, but seems none the worse for wear. Justice and Lagrand, on the other hand, are doubled over trying to catch their breath.

"Like, at least we know about the core thing now?," Valley offers. "That should toootally make it easier if we like, run into more of these little dudes."

"I would much prefer to never face these things again, if it's all the same," Lagrand replies between breaths.

"That... would be nice, yes," adds Justice.

Once everyone's taken a moment, the three (plus the slightly drained elemental) head through the door and into the old workshop.

Inside, there stands... a much larger golem.


The construct has its back turned, not seeming to notice the party yet. It's the only thing keeping Lagrand from heaving a massive sigh, and voicing his immediate displeasure.


Krylo 3rd Jul 2018, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
Chain to hold, bramble and water to attack the core, and justice can move in to hammer at its legs if she can do so safely.
Some Random Guy 3rd Jul 2018, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
The core seems to be revealed in this picture, if this is the case snipe out the core as silently as possible with a well-aimed flurry of Wooden Spears.
Krylo 3rd Jul 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
+1 start with this, then my plan after.
Jex 3rd Jul 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
Iago 3rd Jul 2018, 6:42 PM edit delete reply
Seems like the best initiation.

I am worried about the suspiciously inert rock pile though. Keep an eye on it, be ready to disperse it with some winds. Just in case. Maybe even start with that while the team attacks the big guy.
Caydenite 3rd Jul 2018, 7:03 PM edit delete reply
What winds?
Caydenite 3rd Jul 2018, 7:03 PM edit delete reply
What winds?
G. Sansa 3rd Jul 2018, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
The pile is a source for the golem to regen. Gotta deny it. Using a shield?
ZincFingers 3rd Jul 2018, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, that’s what I would’ve suggested had you not beat me to it.
Some Random Guy 3rd Jul 2018, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Krylo’s Idea is a good follow-up choice, if my plan were to happen.
MakePeaceAndLove 3rd Jul 2018, 10:33 PM edit delete reply
+1 from me.A spear or Little Blue's water jet, or maybe both. If we can get a stealth kill we could avoid another tough fight.
Jex 3rd Jul 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
Attempt to blitz the core before it notices the party. Have Lagrand and the elemental do ranged attacks and then have Valley rush in.
Fayti 3rd Jul 2018, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
Hit it's weak spot for massive damage!

Have Lagrand snipe it with a spear
Krylo 3rd Jul 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
Actually: can we try to use brambles to rip the core out without breaking it? While it's distracted.

These cores might be useful if we can get one.
MakePeaceAndLove 3rd Jul 2018, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
That sounds worth a try.

But if we go for it, we csn't snipe it and bramble-snatch it at the same time. We gotta choose one.

I'd still give priority to sniping it, because the brambles would stretch more slowly and then it might sense their approach in time to turn around and defend, denying us both chances.
Green Visitor 3rd Jul 2018, 6:51 PM edit delete reply
Potion of sneaking! Preferably rip out it's core using the blacksmith tongs on the wall.
Green Visitor 3rd Jul 2018, 6:53 PM edit delete reply
Also, Hammertime.
Some Random Guy 3rd Jul 2018, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
ZincFingers 3rd Jul 2018, 6:52 PM edit delete reply
Just looking at the picture we have some useful loot.
Once we are finished here we should take the tools for Inzo.
Maybe the... is the term I’m looking for whetstone? Or does that only apply to the small handheld variant? The sharpening apparatus.
If we don’t use it to sharpen things, we introduce Inzo to the concept of a flywheel.
Some Random Guy 3rd Jul 2018, 7:12 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Indeed. If this is quick, let’s get all of the loot lying around for our goblin tinkerer friend.
Caydenite 3rd Jul 2018, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers 3rd Jul 2018, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
That’s the ticket Caydenite, can’t for the life of me believe I forgot that.
Dragos 3rd Jul 2018, 6:59 PM edit delete reply
OK before we kill this giant golem lets make sure it's not the stone mason preserved in one of his creations or something XD
Caydenite 3rd Jul 2018, 7:05 PM edit delete reply
Had that thought too, but it'd mean giving up the element of surprise. If we sneak attack and win quick, we'll never know that it was a mistake and so can't regret it.
Green Visitor 3rd Jul 2018, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
True, the result of the sneaking action will collapse our future into the only possible one.
MakePeaceAndLove 3rd Jul 2018, 10:37 PM edit delete reply
... that is a troubling prospect. It didn't cross my mind that that could be our blacksmith.

Didn't Lagrand explain when narrating that story what happened to the blacksmith? Surely he's long dead, right?
Green Visitor 3rd Jul 2018, 7:13 PM edit delete reply
The helmet on the ground is possible armor for little blue in this battle. It even has slits for firing beams of water.

Later Little Blue should fire individual molecules through the slits so that we learn whether holy water is made up of particles or waves.
Krylo 3rd Jul 2018, 7:23 PM edit delete reply
Whether it's particles or waves clearly depends on how we observe it.
Green Visitor 3rd Jul 2018, 7:57 PM edit delete reply
+/- 1
ZincFingers 3rd Jul 2018, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
Okay, I think I solved it, take the hammer and pick(?) from the tool rack and insert them into the relief on the front of the building.
Green Visitor 3rd Jul 2018, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
Nice spot check. +1
Krylo 3rd Jul 2018, 8:09 PM edit delete reply
That's quite possible, but let's explore the rest of this place before doing that.
Caydenite 3rd Jul 2018, 9:52 PM edit delete reply
Good call. We'll get on that after the violence.
MakePeaceAndLove 3rd Jul 2018, 10:39 PM edit delete reply
Good catch ZincFingers, let's do that later.
The Mighty Dragon Lizard 3rd Jul 2018, 10:12 PM edit delete reply
Use potion of sneaking to try and Kali Mah the core! If that doesn't work try to trip it with the Anchor and then rip the core out!
Antarean 3rd Jul 2018, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
This one doesn't seem to have smaller rocks floating around it. Maybe it was created purposefully? Might be an opportunity to try diplomacy again, but I do hate to give up the element of surprise. (Although I don't know how it wouldn't have heard the fight just outside.) Maybe observe it silently from the doorway for a minute?

If/when we do sneak attack it, I think one of Lagrand's spears would have the best chance of hitting the core and one-shotting it.

Huh. The way it's looking at that pile of rubble in front of it, does anyone else think it might have constructed the 2 smaller golems outside? Or at least partially contributed to their construction since they were created by ambient magic?
Tech 4th Jul 2018, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
+1 to diplomacy, it's seved us well before.
Crazy Eights 4th Jul 2018, 12:42 AM edit delete reply
If we're worried that this may be the stonemason we could use the potion of sneaking on lagrand who can sneak behind and quickly wrap his brambles around the core. Constrict it a bit but dont break it. Then we can try talking to it and if it talks back, well then maybe we shouldn't kill it. However, I am personally for sneak attacking.
Crazy Eights 4th Jul 2018, 12:48 AM edit delete reply
Just read the lore on the constructs. "the arcane energies that animate them coalesce into a soft, partly visible core at the center--making for an easy weak spot to target." So by that logic, I would hazard a guess that this large golem is indeed just a golem. Same core, same reasoning in my opinion. It would be hilarious if Morgenstern intentionally gave us an easy (possibly boss level) kill knowing we'd try talking to it just so he can beat us up anyway.
JiggilyJoe 4th Jul 2018, 1:44 AM edit delete reply
1977 4th Jul 2018, 1:13 AM edit delete reply
After reading the other comments I came to the following conclusions:

Sneak attack kill the golem, I don't think it is the mason.

Take the tools from the tool rack and insert them into the relief outside.

Try to salvage the cores.
Did we destroy the cores from the ones outside or did we just forget to loot?
If the former we should try to destroy this one more carefully, if the latter shame on us, not looting is a grave offense to the enemies since it means they were killed for nothing.
JiggilyJoe 4th Jul 2018, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
So.... probably not the best time, but I'm already thinking about later this evening.... I wonder if Justice can test Valley's interest in lesbianism again. ;)
Twelveseal 4th Jul 2018, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
That thing straight up reminds me of Nimrod from BiM. Watch for eyes in its back.

Also, good eye ZF. +1

I'd say snipe at this thing, but be ready for return fire. The pile of stones may be for regen, ammunition, or even an unawakened golem. Also, I'm suspicious of the grindstone.